Red Butterfly Wing
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Red Butterfly Wing
P Naturalized Unknown Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Red Butterfly Wing
Botanical name: Christia vespertilionis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Christia lunata, Hedysarum vespertilionis, Hedysarum versicolor

Red Butterfly Wing is a slender, erect, sparingly-branched perennial herb with stems that can become more or less woody, It can grow 2-4 ft tall. It is grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its attractive leaves that look somewhat like a butterfly. They tend to fold downward at night, and open up during the day, which is the origin of its species name vespertilionis. Inflorescences are 5-15 cm, velvet-heary. Flower-stalks are 2-4 mm, gray velvet-hairy. Sepal-cup is half-hyaline, ac­crescent, 0.8-1.2 cm, netveined veined, velvet-hairy; sepals tri­angular, about as long as tube, upper 2 slightly fused. Flowers are yellowish white, not protruding, about 6 mm. Red Butterfly Wing is native to East Asia, cultivated and naturalized in parts of India.
Medicinal uses: The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in cultivation in Gangajal Nursery, Nasik.

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